Chitin synthesis and fungal pathogenesis

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2010 Aug;13(4):416-23. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2010.05.002. Epub 2010 Jun 8.


Chitin is an essential part of the carbohydrate skeleton of the fungal cell wall and is a molecule that is not represented in humans and other vertebrates. Complex regulatory mechanisms enable chitin to be positioned at specific sites throughout the cell cycle to maintain the overall strength of the wall and enable rapid, life-saving modifications to be made under cell wall stress conditions. Chitin has also recently emerged as a significant player in the activation and attenuation of immune responses to fungi and other chitin-containing parasites. This review summarises latest advances in the analysis of chitin synthesis regulation in the context of fungal pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Wall / drug effects
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Chitin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Chitin / biosynthesis*
  • Chitin / genetics
  • Drug Design
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Fungi / metabolism*
  • Fungi / pathogenicity
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Mycoses / drug therapy
  • Mycoses / microbiology*
  • beta-Glucans / antagonists & inhibitors
  • beta-Glucans / metabolism


  • Antifungal Agents
  • beta-Glucans
  • Chitin